Our curriculum projects inspire children to fully engage with their writing, have a clear awareness of audience and an acknowledgement of the power and emotion that their writing can invoke. Through various stimuli, children are inspired to create their own purposes to write within an atmosphere of mutual respect where all writing is valued.
As soon as children enter our school they are encouraged to write through the extensive and enriching role play opportunities within the Early Years environment. Early writing is a powerful means of communication and may take the form of mark making through child initiated play.
Throughout the year children are taught to apply their phonic knowledge to write initial sounds in words, progressing on to CVC words (consonant vowel consonant words e.g. cat / hen) then rehearsing and recording simple sentences.
An important element of early writing at our school is to develop children’s fine motor skills. It is essential for them to develop an appropriate pencil grip that will enable them to write letters of the alphabet using the correct formation.
(link to a handwriting webpage). By the end of the year children will be able to construct and write simple sentences and phrases often extending the meaning by using conjunctions such as ‘and’ ‘but’.
Building on the oral skills developed throughout Year R, children begin to write using different genre features such as, instructions, stories, recounts and reports, increasingly becoming more aware of their audience. As their writing develops across Year 1, more sophisticated punctuation is taught and used to give shape, understanding and excitement to their writing. As their writing develops they show a creativity and fluency in engaging with the reader to communicate their ideas.
As early spellers children use their increasingly developed phonic knowledge to communicate effectively in writing but as they are taught to apply spelling rules to words that are unable to be sounded out phonetically (was, they, have) they begin to understand when such rules apply.
As children enter year two they are able to sustain longer periods of writing as they begin to master the many writing conventions. They use increasingly more sophisticated vocabulary, punctuation and humour to lead a reader through a series of developed ideas that move away from their own experience, and more into imaginative themes.
As children are taught more complex spelling rules they begin to understand and apply rules such as prefixes and suffixes (changing the meaning of the word happy/unhappy/happily/happiest), contractions (they’re, can’t, didn’t) and ‘silent’ letters (knee, write, little).
By the end of Year 2 children are able to evaluate their writing, often against their own generated ‘success criteria’. By using simple editing skills they are able to improve and enhance their original piece of writing, through alternative word choices, appropriate punctuation and correct tense.
Further development of reading strategies continue to improve our children’s comprehension, sight vocabulary and expression enabling them to tackle more challenging texts.
Throughout Year 2 children continue to develop an increased independence of the application of reading strategies, as well as their ability to make sense of what they have read and through the use of inference, gain knowledge and understanding of meaning beyond the text.
Building on their previous phonic knowledge children learn about the most frequently used rules that govern word construction and use, such as suffixes, plurals and word exceptions. Children extend their knowledge and understanding of how tenses are changed by endings in words e.g. -ness / -ful / -less / -ly and that some words can be spelt in different ways, their/there/they’re, and begin to understand their use in different contexts.
Children are introduced to increasingly complex texts that create a sense of suspense, humour and interest which strengthens and sustains their stamina to read at length.
By the end of Year 2 children are increasingly using their reading skills to research, refine and present their findings to a range of audiences.